Some couples engage in activities where they take photographs or videos in states of undress or engaging in sexual acts. Oftentimes, the intent is for these images to remain private between the couple. However, sometimes things happen if the couple breaks up. Out of bitterness or anger, one of the exes distributes or posts the images without the consent of the other. In legal circles, they refer to this as sexual cyber-harassment, more commonly, we call this revenge porn. In this article, we will discuss the legal ramifications of revenge porn.

What is Revenge Porn?

According to Florida Statute 784.049, revenge porn or sexual cyber-harassment is the posting of a person’s sexually intimate photos or video without their express consent. Additionally, the poster is acting with the intent to embarrass the subject of the photo or video.

Consent

If a person consents to act as  the subject of explicit photos or videos, that is as far as the consent goes. If the consent did not extend to having the photographs or video distributed, then it would be considered revenge porn. Consent to film does not translate to consent to distribution.

Distributor

However, an important caveat to revenge porn laws is that it extends to strangers, such as hackers. A stranger who obtains private photos or videos of a sexual nature and then distributes the material without consent, is guilty of sexual cyber-harassment.

Elements of Revenge Porn Law in Florida

A person charged with sexual cyber-harassment has done all of the following.

  • They distributed sexually explicit photos or videos that include another individual in them.
  • The distributor did not obtain the other person’s explicit consent.
  • The distributor did not have a legitimate purpose.
  • Additionally, the distributor must have the intention to cause emotional harm.

Does the Victim Have to be in Florida For the Law to Apply?

Florida has extended its sexual cyber-harassment law to apply as a crime if the posting of the sexually explicit photograph or video occurred in the State of Florida and/or if the victim resides in the State of Florida.

Punishments

According to Florida Statute 784.049, a person who is convicted for their first offense can receive a first-degree misdemeanor, a fine of up to $1,000, and jail time up to a year.  A person who is convicted of multiple offenses can receive a third-degree penalty, a fine of up to $5,000, and jail time of up to five years.

Consult an Attorney

Sexual cyber-harassment is a serious crime. If you have been charged with violating Florida’s Sexual Cyber-harassment Law, then you should seek the assistance of an attorney.  The lawyers at Valrico Law Group are expert Criminal Defense Attorneys who will give you personalized legal advice geared to your specific case.